Plasma cleaning and surface activation for TEM and SEM samples, grids, and holders

Gatan Solarus and Fischione Plasma cleaner for Electron Microscope samplesCustomers in many prestigious research institutions around the world have purchased the Tergeo-EM plasma system for cryo-EM, in-situ TEM, materials research, and other types of high-resolution electron microscopy applications. Tergeo-EM plasma cleaning system and TEM holder vacuum storage system have been well received by TEM & SEM users in Caltech, UC-Berkeley, UIUC, NIH, Harvard, EAG Laboratories, French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), Max-Planck-Institut in Germany, the University of Leeds in the UK, Curtin University in Australia, Tsinghua University in China, National University in Singapore, Seoul National University in South Korea, and so on. Many of our Tergeo-EM customers are former users of the other traditional TEM/SEM plasma cleaner products on the market. They all think our Tergeo-EM plasma system and vacuum storage system are much easier to use and are very versatile.

Tergeo-EM plasma cleaner can be used to remove hydrocarbon contaminations on TEM and SEM samples. It can accept two TEM specimen holders at the same time. The front adapter can be easily replaced to support more than two different types of TEMS. Users can also directly load SEM and TEM samples into the plasma chamber. The chamber is bigger enough to hold two 4″ wafers or more than a hundred TEM grids for cryo-EM hydrophilicity treatment. Tergeo-EM has been widely used to make TEM grid hydrophilic for cryo-EM applications. It can also activate the surface of the liquid cell in-situ chip. Unique dual plasma source design and pulsed mode operation enable a wide range of applications, including high-speed removal of STEM carbon burn marks, clean carbon deposition on column apertures, and gentle surface activation of ultra-thin holey carbon grids and graphene grids.


  • Removing hydrocarbon contamination on TEM and SEM samples before imaging.
  • Removing carbon deposition after STEM imaging.
  • Making TEM grid hydrophilic for cryo-EM applications. Unique gentle downstream mode and pulsed plasma can handle ultra-thin carbon and graphene grids without damaging the fragile grids
  • Removing organic contamination and activating in-situ TEM and SEM chip surfaces. Making liquid cell surface hydrophilic.
  • Support ThermoFisher (FEI), JEOL, Hitachi, and TESCAN specimen holder, cryo-em autoloader cassette, SEM stud, and regular TEM grids on any holders


Immersion/Direct mode plasma cleaning vs Remote/Downstream mode plasma cleaning

Tergeo-EM plasma cleaner is the only TEM/SEM plasma cleaner that has integrated both direct/immersion mode plasma cleaning (samples are immersed in plasma) and remote/downstream mode plasma cleaning (samples are placed outside the plasma) in one system. Downstream plasma cleaning totally eliminates the ion sputtering of samples. In addition, a unique pulsed mode operation can generate extremely gentle plasma to reduce the plasma intensity further for delicate samples, such as ultra-thin holey carbon grids. Patented plasma intensity sensor technology monitors the plasma strength in real-time and provides the user with quantitative data on plasma intensity. It helps users to set up the right cleaning recipe for different types of samples. Tergeo-EM plasma system also has a unique proprietary method that can deposit high-density OH* hydroxyl functional group on the TEM grids and render the TEM grids super hydrophilic for Cryo-TEM and liquid in-situ TEM applications.

Tergeo-EM plasma cleaner can meet all the requirements, from high-speed cleaning for heavily contaminated apertures and electrodes in electron optics column to gentle cleaning for samples like graphene, carbon nanotube, DLC (diamond-like carbon), carbon fiber, or TEM samples on holey carbon grid. Tergeo-EM plasma cleaner is equipped with an oil-free dry pump safe for oxygen service. Tergeo-EM plasma system supports argon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, ambient air, and other proprietary process gases. Two to three mass flow-controlled gas delivery ports are available to mix multiple process gases.

Customer publications

For a more complete list of our customer publications that mentioned our Tergoe-EM plasma system in the field of TEM research, especially in Cryo-TEM research, please search it on Google Scholar ( click HERE for the linked search results). Here are some selected publications:

  1. High-speed high-resolution data collection on a 200 keV cryo-TEM
  2. 2.5 Å-resolution structure of human CDK-activating kinase bound to the clinical inhibitor ICEC0942
  3. Efficient graphene oxide coating improves cryo-EM sample preparation and data collection from tilted grids
  4. Structural basis for recognition of N-formyl peptides as pathogen-associated molecular patterns
  5. Cryo-EM structures of the SARS-CoV-2 endoribonuclease Nsp15 reveal insight into nuclease specificity and dynamics
  6. Efficacy of boron nitride encapsulation against plasma-processing of 2D semiconductor layers
  7. Integrated cryoEM imaging center at Seoul National University, Korea
  8. Constructing oxide/sulfide in-plane heterojunctions with enlarged internal electric field for efficient CO2 photoreduction
  9. Cryo-EM structures of an insecticidal Bt toxin reveal its mechanism of action on the membrane
  10. Calcineurin-fusion facilitates Cryo-EM Structure Determination of a Family A GPCR
  11. Rigid monoclonal antibodies improve detection of SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein


TEM specimen holder vacuum pumping station for ThermoFisher (FEI), JEOL, Hitachi, and Zeiss TEMs

TEM specimen holder vacuum pumping station

TEM specimen holder vacuum pumping station can store up to six TEM specimen holders under vacuum conditions to help the sample and holder outgas, remove water condensation, and keep the specimen and the holder clean. It can also be used for leak-check on the specimen holders.


  1. Total six storage cells per unit
  2. Each storage cell can be individually pumped or vented using solenoid valves. The remaining cells can still be kept under the vacuum when one of the holders is taken out.
  3. Multiple storage systems can be chain-linked to share the same vacuum pump. It can also share the same vacuum pump with the Tergeo-EM system.
  4. It can be pumped by an oil-free dry scroll pump or by a turbopump station.
  5. The vacuum pump is separated from the storage station, easy to maintain, and service the pump if necessary.
  6. All metal tubes under the vacuum to minimize the outgas, thus reducing the contamination.
  7. The stabilized operation temperature is slightly higher than the room temperature, which helps the specimen holder outgas faster.